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Fusion-io braces for competition from EMC's VFCache server SSD product

Headlines: Fusion-io’s early lock on the server SSD market is in jeopardy now that EMC is shipping its VFCache product and planning a flash appliance.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 2 to Feb. 8, 2011

Fusion-io braces for competition from EMC’s VFCache server SSD product 

When EMC launched its VFCache server SSD product this week, the storage vendor identified Fusion-io as its main competition in the market. But Fusion-io CEO David Flynn said his company has a more mature flash caching product and customers will resist EMC’s attempt at extending its vendor lock to the server. How does it feel to have EMC bearing down on you with VFCache and “Project Thunder”?

Flynn: We view it like when EMC had to respond to NAS, NetApp really took off. When EMC had to respond to dedupe, Data Domain really took off. The pattern is already set for how these things go. They’ll try a few times to enter the market. EMC represents a closed system and a vendor lock that most folks are happy to be leaving as they go to more scale-out architectures and ‘big data’ architectures that are not dependent on what are basically storage mainframes. The big storage array is a vertically integrated, vendor locked environment just like the mainframes were. 

Read the rest of the interview with Fusion-io CEO David Flynn.

EMC releases VFCache PCIe flash card for servers 

EMC Corp. this week officially launched VFCache, its PCIe flash caching product formerly known as “Project Lightning.” EMC also teased its “Project Thunder” appliance with multiple flash cards that will be available in an early-access program later this year.

VFCache and Project Thunder use PCI Express (PCIe) flash technology to accelerate application read performance. EMC began offering flash technology in storage arrays in 2008, when it sold solid-state drives (SSDs) as an option in its SAN arrays. VFCache is its first PCIe flash card. Putting flash closer to the CPU accelerates application performance more than placing it in the storage array.

VFCache consists of 300 GB PCIe cards -- EMC is using single-level cell (SLC) flash from Micron and LSI -- along with EMC-developed software for flash management and wear leveling. The software sits on the server and acts as a filter driver to determine which data gets cached.

Check out this tip on PCIe SSD pros and cons and VAR recommendations.

Cloud storage customer experiences painless migration across providers

Data migration can be a nightmare for any company, so imagine what an IT manager feels like when his cloud storage vendor tells him, “Hey, we are planning to move about one terabyte of your data from one cloud provider to another and, we promise, you won’t experience any downtime.”

True, that is supposed to be one of the key attributes of the cloud. The storage services provider or cloud provider takes on all work and responsibility associated with data migration, and the user isn’t supposed to notice a hiccup. That’s what the IT manager at a California energy company experienced last year when its storage services vendor, Nasuni Corp., moved 1 TB of its primary storage from cloud provider Rackspace to Amazon S3. The project took about six weeks and it was completed in January this year.

Read the full story on Nasuni’s move from Rackspace to Amazon S3 and get peer advice about cloud storage services in this podcast.

Symantec backup applications get makeovers for speed, VMs 

Symantec Corp. this week rolled out improvements to its backup applications, including a faster backup process and enhanced search for NetBackup 7.5, as well as virtual machine backup enhancements and a new interface for Backup Exec 2012.

Symantec claims it increased the backup speed in its NetBackup enterprise backup application with the addition of a NetBackup Accelerator feature. The accelerator feature reduces traditional full backups to the speed of incremental backups for millions of small files, according to Symantec.

Read more about Symantec’s enhancements of its backup applications.

Additional storage news

Check out last week’s storage channel news roundup.

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